Australia

Guy sets his sights on Victoria's top job

Matthew Guy, with his wife and three sons, has his sights sent on being the next Victorian premier. (AAP)

Victorian Liberal leader Matthew Guy on politics and what he hopes to do if he wins government.

The grandson of Ukrainian immigrants, Matthew Guy partly credits his family's belief in hard work for his political determination, as he hopes to become premier of Victoria.

Remembering a much-cherished childhood spent in suburban northeast Melbourne, the now-44-year-old wants his three sons and other Victorian kids to have the same opportunities afforded to him.

"You're going to have to work in life for what you get," he told the party faithful at the Liberal party campaign launch on Sunday.

"That's a good value to have."

He's concerned out-of-control population growth means those opportunities might be missed and wants Victoria to have a say in where migrants and refugees settle with the state to have input on visa conditions.

"(It) will give us more control in managing skills shortages right across Victoria and directing migration growth to the areas that need it the most," Mr Guy said.

There would be a 50-50 split between federal and state governments to better manage population growth under his government.

To encourage people to move outside Melbourne and start businesses, he plans to cut payroll tax to just one per cent in regional Victoria.

There are also promises to address traffic congestion, cut energy costs and improve rail transport in the state including introducing high speed trains.

That pledge is particularly close to his heart because his father's love of trains and memories of being driven around the state to see the latest models.

"I've had 40 years of lectures from my father about trains and how important they are," he said.

Mr Guy worked part-time to pay for his tertiary education at La Trobe University, which is where he first got interested in politics.

But before he was elected in 2006 he worked in a variety of jobs including at the Victorian Farmers Federation and as a manager in the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

He was appointed planning minister in 2010 under Liberal premier Ted Baillieu but has faced heavy criticism for decisions during his tenure.

This included a slew of controversial high-rise building approvals in the city, the rezoning of a 250-hectare industrial area for development and the botched rezoning of farmland at Ventnor in Phillip Island.

The latter decision sparked an Ombudsman investigation and ended with an out-of-court settlement totalling $3.5 million, including costs.

Mr Guy was also slammed over a 2017 dinner meeting at the lavish Lobster Cave restaurant with alleged Melbourne mafia boss, Tony Madafferi. He has insisted it was not linked to political donations.

There have also been difficulties with the flow of funds to the party from major sponsor, the Cormack Foundation.

Through all the difficulties his family and particularly wife Renae, a former journalist, have been supportive.

"I am so proud and happy she had chosen me," Mr Guy said of their wedding day.

Victorians go to the polls on November 24.

WHO IS MATTHEW JASON GUY?

Age: 44

Electorate: Bulleen, eastern suburbs of Melbourne

Education: Montmorency High School, LaTrobe University, Monash University (Masters)

Career before parliament: Worked at the Victorian Farmers Federation and was a manager at the Australian Securities and Investment Commission

Political career: First elected to parliament in 2006 and was appointed planning minister in 2010, then as minister for multicultural affairs and citizenship in 2014. Won a seat representing Bulleen in 2014 and appointed as leader a month later.

Family: Met wife Renae while she was working for former Liberal MP Gary Rowe, but she used to work as a journalist for Leader newspapers. They have three sons: Joseph, Samuel and Alex. Grandparents are Ukrainian.

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